|Volunteering for Stronger Communities Project|
Volunteering for Stronger Communities is a three year programme funded by BIG Lottery and led by Volunteering England. It was launched on October 21st 2011. There are 15 projects throughout England, involving Volunteer Centres in a wide variety of locations, and in County Durham the lead is 2D, Voluntary and Community Support. These will run for two years with ongoing monitoring and evaluation, internal and external. The final year is for further research, development and evaluation.
The aim of the County Durham project is to support those living in rural areas, predominantly, who are deemed ‘hard to reach’. These individuals face numerous barriers with regard to engaging in voluntary and community activities. Those recruited who become engaged in the project will benefit from being given support through ongoing advice and guidance, including mentoring where required, to ensure they have greater access to volunteering opportunities in order to gain experience and skills to improve their quality of life and, ultimately, employment prospects, in addition to the overall aim of strengthening community involvement, generally.